Corpus Linguistics on the Silk Road(s): The Escrow Example

The application of Corpus Linguistics to the concept of innovation in crypto-drug markets
This Situation Analysis is a methodological paper intended to supplement the research findings presented in GDPO Policy Brief 11, Horton-Eddison, M. & Di Cristofaro, M., Hard Interventions and Innovation in Crypto-Drug Markets. This analysis shows the application of Corpus Linguistics methodology and of CADS (Corpus-Assisted Discourse Studies) approach to data extracted from Crypto-Drug Market (CDM) communities. The aim is twofold: First, to demonstrate how the analysis of textual data created by CDM users can help pin-point the impact that ‘real-life’ events (in this case, the FBI’s seizure and closure of Silk Road, and the theft of a substantial amount of Bitcoin on Silk Road 2) have on online crypto-communities. Second, to illustrate how linguistics theories and methodologies may be used to investigate how ‘trust’ is established/reinforced in online CDM communities.